x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Puyol blow for Barca

Barcelona beat their city rivals Espanyol 3-2 on Thursday to reach the Copa del Rey semi-finals, but victory came at a cost with captain Carles Puyol out for 10 days.

Barcelona beat their city rivals Espanyol 3-2 on Thursday to reach the Copa del Rey semi-finals, but victory came at a cost with captain Carles Puyol out for 10 days through injury. In the night's other quarter-final, Sebastien Squillaci scored a last-minute goal as Sevilla beat Valencia 2-1 to win on away goals after a 4-4 aggregate draw.

Nemanja Vidic will miss the first leg of Manchester United's Champions League tie with Inter Milan after being suspended for one match following his red card in the Club World Cup final. The Serbian was dismissed for swinging an elbow into the face of LDU Quito's Claudio Bieler in Yokohama on December 21.

Japan has joined an already bulging list of countries bidding to host the World Cup in either 2018 or 2022. Monday is the deadline to submit papers expressing an intent to bid and the Japanese FA have already sent the required forms to Fifa. Japan co-hosted the 2002 World Cup with South Korea and Tokyo has bid for the 2016 Olympics.